Wednesday, June 30, 2010

wordless on wednesday

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

my reading list

I found a simple way to keep track of my books...Shelfari allows me to build an online library! This way I'm not tempted to buy a book that I've already read (that happens sometimes) and I can find new books to try.

I'll also plant a little visual bookshelf on my sidebar, and try to keep it current:)

Monday, June 28, 2010

we're in high cotton

Ever heard that expression? It means the cotton crop has grown tall and full and can easily be harvested without bending over. It inferes that we're well off and in favorable circumstances.

I recently purchased a beautiful handmade cotton boll wreath from Jessica's Jacket, that came with an interesting note:

My cotton wreath is made from hand-picked cotton bolls that grew along the South Carolina Cotton Trail. Historically, this trail is known as the one Genreal Sherman and the Union Army passed through during the Carolina's Campaign in 1865. Today, South Carolina is one of the 14 main cotton producing state in the US.

How cotton grows...

Two months after planting cotton seeds, flower buds start to appear on the cotton plants. In a little less than a month, the blossom will start to open. As the flower blooms, the petals change colors from creamy white to yellow to pink and finally to dark red. A few days after the blossom reaches this stage, the petals will start to wither and fall off leaving behind green pods or cotton bolls. As time passes and the boll ripens, it turns brown and fibers grow inside that expand in the warmth of the sun. When the fibers inside expand so much that the pod cannot contain them anymore, the boll with split open and fluffy white cotton bursts out.

In the 1800s much folklore surrounding the cotton and the magical powers it holds was created. Here are a few of the superstitions and beliefs:

*if newlyweds sleep on a mattress made of cotton on their wedding night, they will always have money.

*if that same couple finds a twin cotton boll, they will have twins within the year.

*if an unmarried girl finds a twin cotton boll, she will be asked to marry soon.

*when going fishing, carry 20 dried cottonseeds to ensure a good catch.

*cotton was chewed as a headache remedy.

*if you dream of young growing cotton fields, then you'll have good business and properous times.

*dreaming of cotton in bales is a sign of better times ahead.

*it was taboo to use a cotton tablecloth on one's wedding day - the result would be crippled offspring.

*romancing your lover in a cotton field at harvest time during daylight brought on endless good luck to a couple.

*the cotton plant was believed to possess powers of incredible attraction - this happened to people and animals alike.

*dreaming of cotton field was thought to bring on a peculiar desire to "pick cotton"

The dreamy Jessica's Jacket wreath makes a nice companion to this original watercolor that hangs in our foyer:

Take a moment to visit Jessica's Jacket shop on ETSY...Jessica's Jacket is the place to get all kinds of fanciful items... From wreaths made from handpicked South Carolina cotton bolls to beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry and spaghetti scarves, JJ has all the treasures you're looking for!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CATurday morning cartoons

Friday, June 25, 2010

Storyteller - 1815 Church

For 164 years, the Triune United Methodist Church has served this small community. The town was actually named after the church, and the church was rebuilt after being burned down during the Civil War.

Storyteller is my collection of historical roadmarkers found along Highway 31-41A. Some of these markers recount events over 200 years ago.; with most of them relating back to the Civil War of the 1860s

Visit History Quest to go beyond the road markers!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

American Hardwoods: Hackberry

Known for the most bending tolerance of any wood, the Hackberry is mostly grown as an ornamental tree. Approx. 80 feet tall with large, simple leaves it's part of the elm family. Found many times in botanical gardens for it's delicate flowering and sweet fruit (like a date) the Hackberry provides plenitful foodplant and pollen source.

The wood of hackberry has never been used to any large extent due to its softness and an almost immediate propensity to rot when in contact with the elements. The berries, however are edile (in some species) and used sparingly in a Korean tea.

An East Tennessee legend of a wounded British officer and the Cherokee Indians features a hackberry. When the chief's daughter Nocatula fell in love with the Brit Conestoga, jealousy in the tribe led to Conestogas death. In despair, Nocatula drew the knife from his fatal wound and plunged it into her heart.

Her father ordered the bodies buried together and placed an acorn in Conestoga's right hand and a hackberry seed in Nocatula's. The following year, the story goes, sprouts of an oak tree and a hackberry tree appeared. As they grew, their branches intertwined.

The trees stood on the grounds of Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens until the 1940s


Follow more "American Hardwoods" in our weekly series on Edge of the Wildwood, and learn how to identify and utilize wood products. Next week we will take a look at Hickory.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the creative spark

I'm sometimes asked "where do you come up with this stuff?" It takes me by surprise when people seem to want to know the source. But, I have to take their thoughts a step farther before I answer. They aren't actually asking for an explanation of the technical work...they just want to know what drives me to do it.

That answer is easy: the creative spark! The complusion to create. I've been blessed with encouragement and approval of my art endeavors from a very early age. "You're an artist" is something that I heard many times over. When others recognize and support a fledgling artist, a wonderful thing happens...creativity is born.

I believe that every human has it within them to be creative. Sometimes a creative spirit is squashed with critisizum, ridicule or frustration. But like a campfire that has burn out...the spark can be rekindled. If you've ever caught yourself saying "I can't draw at all" then I ask you to consider this: you have mastered penmanship, haven't you? Your ability to take pen to paper (even to sign your name) is tapping your creative spark.

Let it grow. Feed it. And before you know it, you'll be hot with ideas, ambition, and vision.

This special post is part of a Blog Carnival from

Visit our group blog to find more stories of inspiration!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Storyteller - Wheelers Raid

Found between Triune and Nolensville in Middle Tennessee, this road marker recounts the 1862 troop movements around Rosecrans at the Battle of Murfreesboro. Wheeler's Raiders were well known in these parts during the Civil War, and they made a significant impact at the famous Battle of Murfreesboro.

I made note of 6 historical markers along the highway where I live, all within a 2 mile stretch. These signs are like Storytellers and I wanted to learn some local history and share it with my blog readers.

The Wheeler's Raid marker was listed on the Historical Marker Database with several "Wheeler's Raid Around Rosecrans" in Murfreesboro - but I was able to pinpoint any of the markers along Highway 31-41A.

I noticed that the Historical Marker Database allows users to submit new markers, and I will try to get these listed. There's also a way to report damaged or missing signs on their site. HMD has fast map creations and GPS services.

Each marker has a great story to tell us.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

it is what it is

And that's exactly what my customer wanted on a sign. This small, bold sign will be posted in a party barn (bet you didn't know that there was such a thing).

I'll bring you more photos of the interior of this amazing barn very soon - along with the story of how this barn was built!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

another CATurday

Friday, June 18, 2010

Craft Party

Today is the worldwide event ETSY's CRAFT PARTY!

I'll be attending the party for the Nashville area, and I'm really looking forward to meeting my fellow crafters:)
I'm reminded of the Etsy party that I hosted in the summer of was held in my basement workshop, with about 10 guests and lots of chatting.

Our theme was "Lawnchairs and Lemonade" and we had a hula hoop contest for prizes!

I've since met more people on Etsy, but this first little group is still remembered fondly.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Storyteller - Jobe

I found seven historical markers along a 2 miles stretch of highway near my home. We are located between Nashville and Murfreesboro in a rural area with large horse farms and rolling hills.

In future posts, I'll share the stories from these historical markers with you and we'll explore them together.

This first marker is posted on my property. It tells the frightful story of Dewitt Smith Jobe; a Confederate Scout during the Civil War who was captured and tortured to death.

Read a more about Jobe here:

This, Jobe is your last chance

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Boomerang

Dec. 25th, 1942


They spotted 100 Japanese ships up at Robaul in New Britian some 500 miles from here this morning. We sent 12 Flying Fortresses and their fighter planes (also dive-bombers) to try and knock at least half of it out. But the pilots claim they can't get anywhere near them. The pilot of this fortress I was talking to was on that raid. His ship was named the "Boomerang" and he has 4 rising sun flags painted on it for 4 zeros they shot down and 8 bombs are painted on it for 8 bombing raids.

They claim up at the New Georgian Islands the zeros hide in the clouds and them swamp down on them for the kill. Let go and get the hell out of there. They derived that from the flying Tigers (Chennault) who used to hide in the sun and get the zeros the same way. This pilot said give me two motors and I'll fly the son-of-a-gun back to the States. They're getting pretty digusted themselves.

Why we don't even have range-finders for our 90mm AA guns. I don't know how the States expect us to hold this island without equipment, parts for their planes, etc.

Heard this evening that the 35th Infantry of the 25 Division broke through the front lines and through the right flank of the Japs. We now have them bottled up. The Navy has been shelling them all morning.

We got our athletic equipment in yesterday and caught a little softball this evening after supper with Kracks.


This is Harry's War Diary

Harry served in the C.C.C. before World War II and was inducted into the U.S. Army in November 1941. He concluded his service to our country in July 1944 under the rank of Sargent. During this 2 1/2 years, Harry kept several personal diaries. The entries published on this blog are just a sampling of a small, pocketsized "My Life in the Service" journal - and not a complete record of Sgt. Haslam's experience.

Our family hopes that you find these diary entries interesting, and we invite you to continue to follow HWD with further monthly posts.

Monday, June 14, 2010

cursing up a storm

Fri. Dec. 25, 1942

Well, today is Christmas, but just another day of working for us. We are lucky to be alive however, and we consider ourselves very fortunate. We worked today as usual down by the airport runway. Was talking to one of the pilots and a gunner of a Flying fortress which came in from a raid last night. They had to turn back because their motors quit on them (no. 2 and 4 motors).

One of the maintenance men was telling me that they don't have the parts to fix the planes with and they were cursing up a storm. They say these planes are pretty well shot up and unless they get some new ones in, they don't know what will happen.

We had a wonderful dinner today of turkey, peas, fresh potatoes, asparagas, celery, fig pudding, nuts, candy, oranges, apples, layer cake and pumpkin pie. For drinks we had coffee and cocoa. It is now 2 P.M. and I'm still full as a tick. I haven't had a meal like that in I don't know when.

We thank God in heaven for such a wonderful meal and to be able to be alive to eat it.


This is Harry's War Diary

Harry and the fellows count their blessings with a hearty meal to celebrate Christmas on Guadalcanal. The Dec. 25th diary entry will be continued in tomorrows post on Edge of the Wildwood.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

some bunk

Thurs. Dec. 24, 1942

"Washing-machine Charlie" came over last night as usual, and I didn't see any of the P-40's go after him. I suppose that's a rumor like everything else. We sure need some night fighters here. The P-40's are equipped with a raid-eye and don't see why they couldn't use them at night - for they don't even have to see the enemy plane.

Heard yesterday also that Amelia Earhart was found in the Georgian Islands with her co-pilot and that they had a son 3 yrs. old (some bunk). If she were there she could get in touch with the outside world, I suppose some way. I know it's possible it might be true, but not probable.

A Co. of Infantry from the 20th Division passed here about an hour ago. I hear the the Japs use the same method that we do when a boat is torpedoed and the fellows jump in the water. They then drop depth charges (ash-cans) and the concussion in the water will tear your chest apart. Was talking to a pilot from a torpedo-plane, and he said they had to be within 510 yds. of the ship when they let one go, and also about 50 ft. from the water. He said it depended on how much guts the pilot had to how close he would get to the ship. Some of these get as close as 50 ft., he said.

They claim we have 50 Flying Fortresses here now and that 60 more are coming in. I know that they were changing the guns on the Fortresses yesterday and that they have a bomb with the word "Togo do not open until Xmas" The planes are named different things like "Tokyo Taxi" and "Popeye". The ice-plant here we captured from the Japs has a sign in front which says "Togo's Ice Plant" and underneath are the words "under new management".

They claim the Japs are building a fighter strip in the New Georgian Islands and if they get that completed, they will be able to send fighter planes (zeros) with their bombers.

We are doing all we can to knock it out.


This is Harry's War Diary

Harry makes another small slip in refering to this new equipment: raid-eye is meant to be radar. But he carefully takes note of the activity on the airfield. Harry gives us a few chuckles with the cocky signs around camp.

Reading Harry's War Diary has given me a better understanding of the cynical approach that Harry had to 'news'. He was very skilled at talking to people directly and getting to the heart of the matter. Harry always seemed to sense someones desire to talk about what was on their minds, and he knew how to conversate!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

i knew it

was Caturday when i saw this...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Make an Army Man bowl

How to Make a Bowl from Melted Army Men
To make a bowl out of melted army men, it's very important to get good quality soldiers. Generic ones can sometimes turn black in the oven, so make sure you test out one of your army men before beginning your bowl.
Read More

Thursday, June 10, 2010

tell the truth and shame the devil

In my fondness for old expressions, I thought it might be interesting to learn the origins of this phrase:

Tell the truth and shame the devil!

The preacher Hugh Latimer recorded this as a 'common saying' as early as 1555, in his Twenty Seven Sermons:

"There is a common saying amongst vs, Say the truthe and shame the diuel."

Shakespeare also used the expression in Henry IV. Part I, 1597:

And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil
By telling truth: tell truth and shame the devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tall Tales and other exaggerations

In the fine spirit of our SUMMERTIME CAPTION CONTEST, I've found a few outlandish images to share with you:

Gator Rides the Rails

Bumper Crop Back Home

Catch Anything?

How Do You Stop a Train?

Get into the action, and enter our SUMMERTIME CAPTION CONTEST:) There's prizes and everything.

Monday, June 07, 2010

send a towel, save a dolphin

Probably, like me, you have some extra hand towels and wash rags laying around...

So here's where you can put those small towels to good use: The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is taking on the enormous task of cleaning oil from the dolphins, turtles, and other marine life along the Gulf of Mexico. They are accepting donations of handmade or repurposed dishrags (10x10) and hand towels (14x27).

Project 8 is being put together by "Craft Hope" community with a deadline for July 3rd - with significant commitment by crafter/organizers in Pensacola.

Visit the CraftHope blog post for details on what to send and where to ship (along with FAQs)

I might also point out that The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is a non-profit organization: education, conservation, research. Good stuff:)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

CATurday Evening Post

Friday, June 04, 2010

American Hardwoods: Gum

The American Sweetgum Tree is easily recognizable with it's 5-pointed star leaves and spiked fruit. The pointy leaves look alot like maple, but the Sweetgum leaves are glossy and leathery. In the fall, the foliage becomes orange, red, or purple.

Called 'Liquidambar' this tree has a most unusual appearance of the bark, twigs and branches. The bark attaches itself to the twigs and branches in plates edgewise (instead of laterally) and the leafless branch starts to look like a reptile - earning it's nickname 'Alligator wood'

The funny orbs of fruit have also earned a litany of names: space bug, monkey balls, bir ball, gumball, cukoo bir, and sticky ball. Consisting of about 60 connected capsules which each have a pair of spikes, the woody spheres are mostly filled with abortive seeds that resemble sawdust.

First appearing in 1651, F. Hernandez described the fragrant gum as liquid amber. The gum resin is similiar to a turpentine but with no medicinal properties. It was long used in France as a perfume for gloves and was also used for smoking at the court of Mexican Emperors.

Sweetgum is one of the most common southern hardwoods in North America. It's a popular ornamental tree in appreciation of it's brilliant fall colors. The usefulness of Sweetgum is realized in lumber, veneer, plywood, railroad ties, fuel and pulpwood.

Next week we'll discover the Hackberry tree in our series American Hardwoods on Edge of the Wildwood.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

spoon guitar

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

cats can blog too, you know

Check out my recent diary entry on CATSTER:


when my human doesn't wake up soon enough, I like to take matters into my own paws. I jump up on top of the tall dresser where all the important looking thingys are kept. Then I gently paw one of these little curious objects off the dresser - boom! it hits the floor. But my human is still asleep, so I must now proceed to knock off more and more items until something crashes loud enough to do the trick. What's that? you're awake now? well, this would be a fine time to feed me, me thinks.

#1 cat site for cats & bipeds!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Summertime Caption Contest

Can you caption this funny photo?

Tune up your witty notes, and sharpen that wicked tongue, and give this scene a tagline. You could win the Edge of the Wildwood Summertime Caption Contest!

Winner is selected based on a crack-me-up formula with heapin' serving of why-didn't -i-think-of -thats. Are you funnier than a 5th grader? Test your 'ha' factor:)

Grand prize package will be awarded to one lucky winner in the U.S. with absolutely no strings attached (exception: the package thingy that comes in the mail might actually have strings attached) After you win this thing, you can do whatever you want this summer:

flip-flops, music CD, can cooler, and fly.

My fun-loving, level headed husband, Jody will be judging your entries, based on his years of success in picking a winner on the baseball fields, in the board rooms, and at one random local cat show (after walking past hundreds of cats, he pointed to the winner and said 'that one').

Jody knows champs!

Your *one and only way to get your caption in is to leave a comment on this article: your funny caption and an email or way we can contact you. If you have a blogger, it'll track me back to your cool blog. You have until July 1st to come up with your best entry; and *we'll let you enter as many reasonable times as we can stand your silliness. You best not send in something raunchy or dirty, or I'll disqualify you quick as a fiddle.

Better jump on this thing, we only have one really good contest a year.
$28.00 total package value:

handcrafted fluffy flip-flops $8.00
original music CD signed by the artist $10.00
quarium of the Americas silver shark can cooler $6.00
hand-tied mayfly fishing fly $4.00

Related Posts with Thumbnails